If you qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, in most circumstances, you will receive 55% of your salary, to the maximum annual insurable earnings amount of $47,400. This means you can receive a maximum of $501 per week. However, there are circumstances in which your benefits may be reduced or increased. Also, since April 2013 when the Variable Best Weeks law came into effect, EI benefits are calculated based on your highest weeks of insurable earnings over the past 52 weeks (or since the start of your last claim). TheVariable Best Weeks law does not apply to people receiving fishing benefits or self-employed benefits.
When can EI benefits be reduced?
The amount of your EI benefits may be reduced if:
- you have collected a certain amount of EI benefits in the past, you earn other money while collecting benefits. However, there is a pilot project called the Working While on Claim. This pilot project has continued to undergo changes since its inception. Essentially, if you qualify under this program, you will be able to earn a limited amount of part-time income, up-to a percentage of your weekly insured earnings, and still collect your EI benefits. If a person earns more than the allowable amount, the earnings above that amount will be deducted from their EI benefits to ensure that the combined earnings and EI benefits are not more than the
amount of earnings used to calculate the benefit amount. To find out what the current amounts are, and to determine if you qualify, contact your local Employment and Social Development Canada office you collect money from: a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, your own business, retirement income from a government or employment pension severance pay.
Even if you receive these payments after you have finished collecting benefits, you may be required to pay back all or part of the benefits you collected.
There are some types of earnings that will not reduce your benefits. These include income from private RRSPs and disability pensions.
When can EI benefits be increased?
Your benefits may be increased if you are a low income family and have dependent children under the age of eighteen.
If you worked on and off over the past 26 weeks, you may still be entitled to receive Employment Insurance benefits, but the amount will be based on a special calculation.
It is important to note that EI benefits are taxable, meaning federal and provincial or territorial taxes, where applicable, will be deducted from your payment.
There are many factors that are considered when the amount of EI benefits you will be paid is calculated.
Employment and Social Development Canada: www.esdc.gc.c a
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